I love to read. In fact it is hard for me to go into a bookstore and not spend my entire paycheck. I used to have shelves and shelves of books. Because I liked having them around, and I liked their accessibility if I wanted to check something or learn something about a given subject. Or check a passage in a novel. Going to the library just wasn't as convenient. My questions did not always coincide with their business hours. And I just liked owning the information.
Once I gained regular access to the internet, that lifelong obsession slowly disappeared. I still love books, and love to read. However, with a wealth of information about any given topic at my fingertips, I don't need to own all of those books.
I soon got in the habit of reading magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs on a variety of subjects. I still love to read online news at different sites around the world. However keeping folders with long links to all of these places was always unwieldy. Then Google Reader appeared. Now, I can spend hours clicking through my different sites. I can quickly skim through headlines and short intros and pick and choose what I want to read. I have several hundred subscriptions, many of them bloggers around the world. It is now almost impossible to imagine life without Google Reader.
As far as t.v.--I've always been less addicted than most. I've always had shows that I enjoyed, yet they never seemed to air at a time that was convenient for me. When VCR's appeared I would tape show after show, but not always find time to watch them. About a year ago I learned about Hulu.com. Now I can watch countless shows, movies, episodes, and documentaries when I find a convenient time. There are other websites, such as Comedy Central (The Daily Show, Colbert Report) and MSNBC (Olbermann, Maddow) that I can access and watch online. I can watch Congressional debates on C-Span, and comedy clips on YouTube. I find it all incredibly convenient and liberating to have all of this at my fingertips, on demand.
How did we live without them?